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Date: 03/15/23 06:13
American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: ClubCar

Well, once again the rumor mill is buzzing with steam enthusiasts discussing what will take place in the year 2026 when our country celebrates the 250th birthday of the nation.  Some of you may have also heard rumors, but rather than spreading them I would appreciate hearing what is happening from the main person himself, Ross E. Rowland, Jr.  Everyone with whom I have heard stories have stated that right now, because of the economy, big corporations are not willing to commit to any special events like another Freedom Train.  However, in order for this to happen, not only are sponsors needed, but now is the time to decide as to which steam locomotives will be made available for this kind of celebration along with obtaining the rolling stock that will make up the train.  This too takes money and time to put together, and this special year is now less than three years away.  So I do hope that Mr. Rowland will come forward and bring us all up to date and thus help to stop all kinds of false rumors that are going around.  Thanks.
John in White Marsh, Maryland



Date: 03/15/23 07:10
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: masterphots

Does anyone think a PSR-operated railroad is going to allow any such operation on their tracks?   Not in 2026 and probably not in most of our lifetimes.



Date: 03/15/23 08:00
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: longliveSP

Sadly, how many special interest groups would protest such a train?



Date: 03/15/23 08:30
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: needles_sub

Were a divided country. I don't think we, as a country, can get together on anything.

Posted from Android



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/15/23 08:31 by needles_sub.



Date: 03/15/23 09:27
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: A-1

In a PSR and PTC railroad world, I don't see it happening with steam, let alone double-headed steam as it was said he wants this one to be. Maybe it could happen if it was just another unit train like the circus train. As far as social and political reality in the country as it now stands, I don't see any major sponsor stepping up to the plate for it if it's in the form of the '76 romp for any number of reasons.

Posted from Android



Date: 03/15/23 09:30
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: co614

Thanks for the inquiry. I've been working on AFT 2.0 for some time and have started to make some modest progress of late. Here's the exec. summary version. The thing that made AFT 1.0 such a smash hit with the general public was the 512 ORIGINAL artifacts that we were able to borrow from 285 museums and private collectors from across the nation. This support from the national museum community was made possible by Preident Nixon who in January 1974 called the National Archives, Library of Congress and the Smithsonian and told them to " give the Freedom Train whatever artifacts they want for display on the train". He also wrote a very strong letter of support which we used to to get the other museums on board. 

    Having that incredible collection of ORIGINAL artifacts on board assured us of the strong reception we would get from the media across Anerica and that our ticket sales would cover the expenses ( 85 member crew, track fees, insurance, fuel/water/maintenance etc.) of moving the train across 48 states on 21 different railroads all with steam. Having that "must see" element greatly encourage our corporate co-sponsors to come aboard and provide the seed money to build the train and the organization around it to manage the 21 month, 138 display city, 25,000 mile tour. Those 5 co-sponsors ( Pepsi, GM, Kraft Foods, Prudential and Atlantic Richfield Energy) also were great on the ground supporters in every display community. 

    We have created a new 501 c 3 AFT Foundation to organize AFT 2.0 and are working hard to get President Biden's support to give us the backing of the Smithsonian, Library of Congress and National Archives and this time I intend to ask him to order the NPS to lend us the Liberty Bell for the 3 year, 48 state, 25,000 mile tour. If you'll go the Liberty Bell's Wikipedia page you'll see that it traveled by train 6 times between 1885-1915 riding atop very crude flatcars out in the open.  We will house it in a climate controlled enclosure atop an air cushioned state of the art car. We will suggest to the President that he extend an invitation to all Medal of Honor, Gold Star and Blue Star families to come to the Freedom Train as VIP guests of a grateful nation and they only be granted the privilege of touching/kissing the Liberty Bell as they pass it as a token of appreciation for the sacrifices they have made to preserve our way of life.

   The 24 car long consist will be very much like AFT 1.0 other than the 10 display cars will be repurposed 86. ft. long auto parts jumbo box cars instead of baggage cars. Those cars will give us approx. 35% more cubic feet of display area vs. a baggage car. 

   It will be steam powered throughout its 48 state journey and will always be powered by 2 mainline qualified steam locomotives. By having two locomotives we eliminate road failure, eliminate the need for a diesel in the consist and by having staggered boiler wash dates one live locomotive will always be on display.  Finding mainline qualified steamers in service and looking for gainful employment makes that requirement the easy part. As we speak there are 765,1225, 2102, 2100 ( soon), 1361 ( soon), 4449, 700, 3751, 2926 ( soon ), 4014, 844, 3985 ( soon) and I've missed a few I'm sure. There's plenty of available steamers looking for work. 

    Is our beloved country ready for a vehicle that can highlight and celebrate what we've achieved in 250 years of participatory democracy and remind us that there's a lot more that unites us than divides us??? 

    I think the answer is yes. 

    What about the fear that the mire successful the train is the bigger the target it will be for the bad guys. That's a valid point and an area will will spend an enormous amount of time/energy/money addressing. However, if we let that stop us then the bad guys have won. We can't allow that !!!

    It will take about 24 months to build the train and do all the myriad other tasks needed to launch it so time is of the essence. 

    Wish me luck getting to POTUS. I think I'm close??    More soon I hope. 

    Thanks, Ross Rowland, Founder & CEO
                                           American Freedom Train Foundation, Inc. 



Date: 03/15/23 09:30
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: wcamp1472

In my view, 'protests' are a cherished and valuable American tradition,
and is protected by our Constituion.  Protesting can lead to powerful political changes...

Roiting, assaulting, firebombing, shooting at folks, and destruction
are NOT 'free-speech'

In today's world, here in America, peaceful demonstrations are a welcome and
cherished tradition.  America is one if the few countries where demonstrators
are NOT rounded-up and jailed, simply for protesting.

One of the Freedoms to be celebrated is the right to peacefully gather and demonstrate!
Its what makes America truly the Home of the Free, and land of the Brave.

When AFT 2.0 does get launched, protests are welcome --- and can be part of 
the celebrations.  It's one of our oldest and most valued Freedoms & traditions.

Redress of grievances!   It's what has the power to move us ahead!!
Progress isn't pretty, but it's what makes us ALL: Americans.

When you see demonstrators practicing their right to peaceably assemble ---
cheer them ON.   They feel that their commitments can move our Country 
towards " a more perfect Union..".  To them it's a needed step forward.
Celebrate!  the fact that they CAN demonstrate.  

And that's why so many brave Service Men & Women gave their lives fighting for!
From Bunker Hill and the Boston Tea Party,  to supprting Ukraine.  
It's that Freedom which is what we want to protect the MOST!

We cherish others' Rights to Protest!
We can argue and disagree, but that doesn't mean hate!
We are Americans!  

At AFT-2, peace and order is what we expect, and will protect.

W.

( Keep a pocket copy of our Constitution with you at all times!   I do!)

 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/15/23 09:36 by wcamp1472.



Date: 03/15/23 10:52
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: junctiontower

I agree with your Constitutional points 100%, BUT, I also feel there is an appropriate time and place for everything, and protesting a celebration of a country that ALLOWS you to protest the actions of that country seems misguided to me, just as what was going on in the sports world a few years ago.  I have serious questions, like most others that this event can actually be put together, but if it actually DOES happen, the foamer in me would love nothing more than for #765 and #1225 to team up once again and cover some of the Midwest leg of the tour.



Date: 03/15/23 11:27
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: ClubCar

I want to thank you Ross for your update and your solid commitment towards another American Freedom Train.  You have a major task ahead, yet I'm sure with your determination and the cooperation of the needed people to get involved, this will be accomplished.  Please keep all of us informed and let all of the folks here on Train Orders know what all of us can do to help you.  Stay Safe and Stay Well.
John in White Marsh, Maryland



Date: 03/15/23 12:33
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: wp1801

Very interesting!



Date: 03/15/23 13:35
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: wabash2800

Thanks for the update Ross. I wish you the best and am looking forward to this event.. Even with reliable steam on these trains, I would have to think that diesel back-up would be put on these trains regardless if they needed it or not. I would suspect that the railroads would demand it.

Victor Baird



Date: 03/15/23 14:20
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: rbenko

Great to hear Ross - thanks for updating the TO faithful.

Speaking of which, what can us mere mortals here on TO do to help assure AFT 2.0 gets on the high iron?



Date: 03/15/23 14:21
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: SGillings

Which steam engines have PSR?

Steve



Date: 03/15/23 14:49
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: HotWater

SGillings Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Which steam engines have PSR?
>
> Steve

What does "PSR" have to do with steam engines? Maybe you are asking about PTC?



Date: 03/15/23 16:00
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: SGillings

Well, I guess that I was referring to PTC.

Steve



Date: 03/15/23 16:07
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: Cumbresfan

SGillings Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Which steam engines have PSR?
>
> Steve

You mean PTC. ATSF 2926 has it. See the article at the link:
https://railfan.com/santa-fe-2926-gets-positive-train-control/



Date: 03/15/23 17:03
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: PHall

Still going to be real interesting to see which railroads, if any, are going to allow you to operate on their tracks.
I wish you good luck because you're probably going to need it.



Date: 03/15/23 19:04
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: Trainhand

I wish you luck with this endeavor Ross. I can only hope if it comes to pass it will be as successful as the AFT version 1. 

Sam



Date: 03/15/23 19:12
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: Trainhand

Wes, I agree with your commemts completely. I may not agree with the views of the protester but willdefend his right to protest. Also if something like this is not allowed to ahppen for fear you are right. the sobs havve wom. This country was not built on fear. As to the rrs allowing steam, a forceful letter from the head of the FRA saying their operating practices,service lapses, treatment of employees or any one of several other failings will be throughly investigated will have the CEO's bending over backward for AFT#2.

Sam



Date: 03/15/23 19:29
Re: American Freedom Train coming again?
Author: wcamp1472

Voltaire said it best :

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

While lovers of liberty in all lands have urged the necessity of freedom of speech,
none put the case more pointedly than Voltaire when he said:

 “I wholly disapprove of what you say—and will defend to the death 
    your right to say it.”

Keep the faith ....

Wes Camp



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